After two days of meetings by the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, the Fed issued a statement on the state of the economy. If you're not into reading "Fed speak," here's a quick and dirty digest of the important bullet points.
The Big Number:
0% to 0.25%. As expected, the Fed kept its key interest rate right where it's been for months now. Yawn. Nothing to see here folks. Moving on.
The Big Line:
"Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June suggests that economic activity is leveling out."
Right out of the gate, the Fed leads with its best material. In using the language "leveling out," as opposed to "slowing" like in the June statement, the Fed is likely signaling that the economy is bottoming out.
Of course, that comes with the typical caveats that the Fed is prone to make. Adding the term "sluggish income growth" to the list of concerns wasn't a mistake. But, on the whole, the Fed's upgraded expectations are matching those of many private sector economists.
The Fed said that it anticipates the full amount of its current Treasury security buying spree to be wrapped up by the end of October. Of course, the group said nothing definitive about whether it will expand or end the program outright after that. Nor did the Fed say anything new about its much larger buy-up of mortgage-backed securities. Oh, that sneaky Fed.
The Egghead's Perspective:
"This is very close to a carbon copy of the June statement," Stuart Hoffman, Chief Economist for PNC Financial Services, said. "Only it's offering up a lighter shade of gray for the economy."
The "leveling out" language was pretty nice and people will rack their brains on the treasury securities program. But, all things considered, there isn't a tremendous amount of news being made here. Of course, sometimes no news is good news.
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